Spring Lamb with Rosemary by David Tanis

September 13, 2018

David Tanis is an all time favorite of mine and for good reason. His cooking has the down-home simplicity and goodness that you can and want to eat every day. There are chefs that “wow” with complicated ingredients and techniques. I have their cookbooks and they sit on the shelf like pieces of art. Then, there are chefs that cook technically accomplishable, delicious meals, but the ingredients are so fattening. If you used their recipes often, you would be a gastric bypass candidate within a year. Finally, there are chefs that cook simply with a handful of healthy, seasonal ingredients. Their cookbooks are well worn tools that stay open on the counter for a weeks at a time. Their techniques trickle into your daily habits and teach you a better way of life. David Tanis is that kind of chef.

Spring Lamb with Rosemary is on high rotation around our house. This along with the fork mashed potatoes is my oldest daughter’s favorite meal. I can see why. There is something fun for kids about eating meat with their hands off the bone. The flavor is savory and absent of the gaminess sometimes associated with lamb.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


Two 8-bone racks of lamb, frenched

Salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a  little salt

Several sprigs of rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped

olive oil


Season the racks liberally with salt and pepper. With your hands, rub each rack with the garlic and chopped rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the racks fat side up in a roasting pan and leave them at room temperature for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Roast the lamb for about 20 minutes, until the racks are nicely browned, with an interior temperature of 125F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Put a serving platter in the oven to warm.

Transfer the racks to a carving board and slice between the bones. Arrange the little chops on the platter and serve.

From Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis

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